Amie Whittemore (Poetry) | Murfreesboro, TN
Blurbs, Press & Reviews
In stunningly lush and organic lines filled with milkweed, soybeans, and marigold, where heartcall is answered by birdsong, and both land and speaker are palimpsestically haunted by past and future seasons, Amie Whittemore fills her dream ark with vivid catalogues, memories, and visions. In poems that weave together “an entire imaginary alphabet from a single letter” with the intricate architectural skill of a bird’s nest braiding together hair and twigs, these poems ricochet between rivetingly fierce consciousness and pure animal joy in a journey that is as harrowing as it is lustrous.
—Lee Ann Roripaugh, author of Dandarians
If I had a checklist for what constituted a top-notch collection of poems, Amie Whittemore’s Glass Harvest would come close to hitting them all. A strong sense of language and a compelling voice? Check. Surprising phrasing, metaphors, and use of imagery? Check. A well-tuned ear? Check. Playfulness? Check. Pathos? Check. Check. Check. In her lines a “skirt / thrown across the floor looks like a lake // where a child drowned.” If poetry transforms the world and heightens our realizations of its joys and terrors, then Whittemore is the real deal, and this collection is her terrific and startling debut.
—Gerry LaFemina, author of Little Heretic
Glass Harvest delights in keeping its reader off-kilter. The present moment is a palimpsest not only of past and future, but alternate histories as well. The landscape becomes the speakers’ externalized desire; indeed, Whittemore writes with an attentiveness and lyric dexterity to the sensual world that borders on the erotic. Quit fooling around and open this book—you will be returning to it again and again.
—Nicky Beer, author of The Octopus Game
Amie Whittemore’s Glass Harvest explores our erotic attachment to environment, where a young woman’s marriage comes into conflict with her desire for another woman, where the children of a farming family continue to shape and imagine themselves as part of their family’s regional landscape. Moving between lyrically surreal images and richly observed details of the natural world, these poems re-imagine the land’s pull on people, the way it shapes family relationships, gender identity and even sexuality. In these poems, people are not separate from the animals and lands they cultivate: bodies of girls and women become “milkweed seed…a nest of garter snakes; // cinnamon-stained tails, mouth white as hail” and one speaker “env[ies] all / that’s not human.” I find these poems’ attention to the natural world sensually rich, electrifying, and refreshing. It is a beautiful debut.
—Paisley Rekdal, author of Animal Eye